What Do You Do If You’re Attacked By A Dog?
Written by Cooper & Friedman PLLC on June 4, 2019
Dogs are called man’s best friend and, for the most part, they are. However, there are some times when a dog can turn and become your worst fear. This can happen with dogs you are familiar with but is more likely to occur with a dog you’ve never interacted with before. When a dog attacks, it’s a terrifying experience to be on the receiving end. Dogs, both big and small, can deliver a lot of damage with their bite. This is especially true if the dog hasn’t been vaccinated for rabies. So, what do you do if you’re attacked by a dog? There are quite a few things you can do at the moment and afterward that can save your life and help you if you decide to press charges.
What To Do If You’re Attacked By A Dog
Stand Your Ground
Like any traumatic situation, a dog attack takes you by surprise. When caught by surprise, our first instinct is usually to run. However, during a dog attack, it is important to fight your instincts and do the opposite. Running away from an attacking dog more often than not incites their instinct to chase after you. It is the same instinct that causes dogs to run after squirrels or cats. Instead of running away from the dog, stand your ground. Avoid eye contact with the animal, cross your arms, and be still. Once you’ve stood your ground if the dog is no longer pursuing you, start to slowly move away.
Put An Object Between You and the Attacking Dog
If you’re able to get away from the dog, but it is still pursuing you, the next thing you should attempt is to put an object between yourself and the attacking dog. This object can be literally anything. Whether you can find a barrier like a fence or only have an object on you like a backpack, put it between you and the animal. Having an object between you and the dog will prevent them from doing further damage to your person. It will also give you more of a chance to escape the situation and get to safety.
If Possible, Distract The Dog
If you can, distract the dog from your person by using a shirt, jacket, or even a purse to draw away the dog’s attention. Wave the object as far from your body as possible and see if the dog changes its focus. If it does start to lunge for the object, throw the object in the same direction you’re holding it and away from you. While the dog is distracted attempt to find something to put between you and the dog or, if possible, alert someone around you that you need help.
Protect Your Arms, Face, and Neck
There are a lot of resources available that suggest throwing your arms up to protect your face during a dog bite. However, this is not always the best course of action. Your arms contain arteries on the ulna and radial sides and it is important to protect those at all cost. If you are attacked by a dog and find yourself knocked to the ground, it’s important to protect your arms, face, and neck. If you’re able, slowly curl yourself into a ball and wrap your hands around your neck. This will protect your face, neck, and the most vulnerable parts of your arms from the attack.
Stay Quiet and Remain Calm
If you find yourself being attacked by a dog and have no one around you to ask for help, it is best to stay quiet. Loud noises, including screams, can risk further antagonizing the dog into attacking you even more viciously. It is better to stay quiet in hopes that the dog loses interest. Furthermore, while staying quiet it is also important that you stay calm. Hitting the dog may get them to stop attacking; however, it is important to hit the dog in certain spots. Experts recommend hitting an attacking dog in the ribs or nose. Both of these areas are easy to aim for. They are also sensitive enough to the dog to cause them to stop their attack. If you cannot reach those areas, remain calm, and protect your arms, face, and neck. Hitting the dog in any other areas may further antagonize them.
Being a victim of a dog attack is no laughing matter. Whether the bite is small or you’ve experienced a mauling, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and trauma. Knowing what to do if you are attacked by a dog could be the difference between life and death.
At Cooper and Friedman, Attorneys at Law, in Louisville, Kentucky, we have over 50 years of combined experience representing victims of dog bites. If you’ve been bitten by a dog, it’s important to know the 7 things you should do after being bitten by a dog. It is also important to know that you may be eligible for compensation. Contact us at Cooper and Friedman Law Office today by calling 502-459-7555 for a free consultation with an experienced dog bite lawyer.